Yesterday got a little heated, so if y’all don’t mind I’m going to clear the air and get back to beauty. Let’s talk about perfume!

The holidays are fast approaching, and if you’re like me, you always gotta save a little room for yourself on your shopping list. After splurging on everyone else, it’s only fair that you show yourself some love, am I right bellas? One of my favorite self-indulgent purchases is perfume. I prefer to buy my own, because scent is so subjective. What smells like hot basura to me might smell like heaven to some other bella, and so much is based on body chemistry. These are five scents on my shopping list, and you just might want to add to yours.

1. Carol’s Daughter Pearls. When I heard about the new scent from Carol’s Daughter, I got excited. Whenever I want a layering scent that makes me feel and smell yummy, I still reach for that Almond Cookie. And the description of Pearls just sounded heavenly. According to the CD website, it “…sparkles with lemon verbena and the luscious aspect of apricot and peach. The fragrance evolves into a voluptuous floral heart of intoxicating jasmine, rose and violet leaves topped off by warm vanilla and sweet caramel.” Sounds delightful, right?

Bellas who want a sneak preview should pick up a copy of Essence Magazine – there’ll be a two page spread in December’s issue, complete with a scent strip. But of course scent strips don’t tell the whole story of how a fragrance will unfold on you — so I suggest you head to Sephora for a spritz.

On me, Carol’s Daughter Pearls was tropical and fruity at first — definitely smelled that peach note right away! Then an hour or so later the lush florals unfold, leaving me smelling like jasmine caramel goodness. I really like it. And for $45, it’s a sweet deal from a company long loved by the afrobella community. Hats off to Lisa Price once again!

2. White Patchouli by Tom Ford. Tom Ford. Erykah Badu. From the moment I laid eyes on this advertising campaign, I knew I had to get my hands on a bottle.

A small one (1.7 oz) costs $92. A big one (3.4 oz) is $138. I haven’t even been so lucky as to smell this yet, but reviews reveal I might be pleasantly surprised — it’s described as restrained, smooth, spicy, and according to Now Smell This: “White Patchouli is minimalist chic… I’d dress White Patchouli in New York black: trousers, a black turtleneck and boots, big sunglasses, sleek hair, one big piece of jewelry. It’s beautifully done, and I find it perfectly accessible.” It sounds like the every day scent I’ve been looking for, but because it’s pricey, this will go on my list to Santa. Santa = my husband, duh.

3. Harajuku Lovers by who else? Gwen Stefani. Like Margaret Cho and my friends at Racialicious — I gave a big side-eye to Gwen Stefani in 2006 when she emerged with her Harajuku Girls, four dancing, mostly silent Japanese women who have moved on from just being Gwen’s dancing posse to now becoming part of her growing fashion and beauty brand. I hope Maya Chino (“Love”), Jennifer Kita (“Angel”), Rino Nakasone (“Music”) and Mayuko Kitayama (“Baby”) are being paid well for their efforts. Now there are perfumes being sold with their likeness as the bottles, and I must admit — the fifteen year old girl inside me thinks they are super cute.

$25 to $45 per bottle, or $60 for a set of solids. Each scent is different and I particularly love Love, a sweet and delicate floral, and G, the scent inspired by Gwen herself. Coconut, jasmine, magnolia – every time I’ve worn it, my co-workers are like, “what is that awesome perfume?”

4 Youth Dew solid perfume compact. I love the whole what’s old is new again trend in the scent world. Recently the LA Times did an article outlining the cougars of the perfume business, so to speak — Poison, Opium, and Samsara are all enjoying a resurgence. One of my timeless favorites is Youth-Dew by Estee Lauder. It’s complicated, strong, and dates back to 1953. It’s the kind of scent that can’t be broken down into a simple word like “fruity” or “floral” for an initial description — it is a perfume that is defiantly perfumed. Youth-Dew smells like a strong, sexy woman. I bet Katherine Hepburn wore Youth-Dew at some point in her life. Now Estee Lauder is selling gorgeous cameo compacts — $85 for this finely crafted collectible. I am thinking this would be a great gift for my Mama Bella. And for myself!

** edited at 11 p.m. — Sweet Diva and Now Smell This did really beautiful and poignant reviews of Youth Dew. Well worth reading.

5. Michael Kors Very Pretty. Thank you, Project Runway, for bringing the world the sheer joy of Michael Kors. I want him and Tim Gunn to take me out for a fabulous day of New York City shopping and cocktails. And every time I spritz on Michael Kors’ new fragrance, I can practically hear him say in my head “very pretty!”

This scent is dripping with floral notes — jasmine top note (hmmm, notice a trend here, bellas? Apparently I love jasmine!) is layered with sandalwood, bergamot, and “tuberose layered with creamy florals, exotic spices, and the taming touch of Moroccan incense.” Maybe the Moroccan incense is what causes it to linger on my skin so deliciously. This is a fragrance you can wear to bed, and wake up with in the morning. $75 and that chic Swarovski crystal studded bottle can be on your dresser.

What scents are you eyeing for the season? Got any gifts you want to get yourself, bellas?

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Jenene says:
November 18, 2008, 12:11 pm
My new daytime scent is Prada Infusion d'Iris. The fragrance is so elegant and smooth. And the lotion is a nice complement to the fragrance. Sometimes I switch up to Dolce & Gabbana's Sicily. I'm debating whether to re-up on this scent. While waiting to cross the street, the guy next to me asked me what I was wearing. It just might bring all the boys to the yard, lol! My new nighttime scent is Nuit de Noho by Bond No. 9. Very sexy! But I will check out that Michael Kors...
Kristen says:
November 18, 2008, 12:44 pm
I saw Pearls at Sephora and immediately fell in love with the box it comes in. It's lovely.
KindredSmile says:
November 18, 2008, 12:48 pm
One of my favorites is still Juicy by Juicy Couture. I also love Beckham Signature for her - it's not as heavy as I thought it would be, and the bottle is gorgeous on my dresser! I also have a special place in my heart for Cashmere Mist, even though it's been out for a few years - classic scent!
Niki says:
November 18, 2008, 1:11 pm
I will definitely need to freshen up my "smell-goods". I am anxious to try the Pearls and, from your description, I will be wanting to snatch up that Michael Kors as well. I love the intersection of spicy and fruity-floral. I bounce around with my fragrances quite a bit. I am like a kid at a candy store when I walk into Sephora or Ulta! One of my old stand-bys suprisingly is Elizabeth Taylor's "White Diamonds". I wear it when I want to feel professional and put-together--it's not overpowering yet I always get compliments when I wear it.
laughing808 says:
November 18, 2008, 1:31 pm
I plan on getting a bottle of that Pearl by Carol's Daughter. I got a sample in the Essence and it smelled really nice. One of my favs now is Betsy Johnson. But I still love both the Delicious by DNKY.
TJ says:
November 18, 2008, 1:59 pm
I've heard lots of good things about pearls. I look forward to smelling it.
Gangstarr Girl says:
November 18, 2008, 2:03 pm
I absolutely love those little Harajuku Girls, primarily for the bottle. I'm a kid at heart, and acted like a little girl in a candy store when I was trying them out in Sephora. By favorite bottle is the one with the fro, but my favorite scent is the one with the headband. They all have a light floral, candylike smell. Another good one is Versace Bright Crystal, it's not new but a good one to look into if you like light scents.
Shana says:
November 18, 2008, 2:13 pm
My favorite light scent is Nina by Nina Ricci. I get tons of compliments when I wear it. It is a fruity/sweet scent. It includes notes of Calabrese lemon, lime, red toffee apple, vanilla infusion, moonflower, peony petals, apple tree wood, cotton musk. My favorite heavy scent is Golden Goddess by Baby Phat. It's a very sensual and sexy scent. It has top notes of bubbling champagne; a heart of seringa, blue lilies and night orchid, and a drydown of caramel, vanilla flower patchouli and vetiver.
dettygirl says:
November 18, 2008, 2:41 pm
I am on the fence here about what new scent to buy. I went on a scent spree 2 years ago and vowed to not buy narren a scent scent until i used ALL of them up. i'm down to the 1/2 way point on my last 2 bottles (J'adore & Carol's Daughter Ecstasy--still get people-sniffed whenever I wear these scents) and will be looking to score something new soon, so I will be reading everyone's suggestions. I would like to try something grown and sexy. Most of my past choices have been kind of fruity or flowery.
Nineteen69 says:
November 18, 2008, 3:14 pm
I am so wanting Kors right now. Loving the bottle.
lilone says:
November 18, 2008, 3:19 pm
i've been in LOVE with that photo of erykah for a while!! isn't she GORGEOUS! i just wanna do a sniff test of that White Patchouli, lol, need to head to the mall...
Laquita says:
November 18, 2008, 3:24 pm
My girls (my neice and step-daughter) were eyeing the Harajuku Lovers - we decided we liked the Baby scent the best. I may be extra generous and get them the solid perfume as stocking stuffers. I'm also looking forward to smellng Pearls as well.
Mrs.Mckinzie says:
November 18, 2008, 3:31 pm
Ralph Lauren Hot is one of my favorite scents right now.I would love to wake up Christmas morning with Carol's Dughter new scent in my stocking.
Mrs.Mckinzie says:
November 18, 2008, 3:32 pm
Carol's Daughter
mochachoc says:
November 18, 2008, 3:54 pm
I love the look of that Youth Dew compact. I have a bottle which i think will last forever. It is a spicy amber scent which mustn't be messed with. It is strong so i recommend a light touch. it is however heavenly in the autumn and winter months. i think i'm going to have a sniff of the kors and tom ford they sound right up my street. My two favourite perfumes are both made by Caron. They are Tabac Blond and Parfum Sacre. They both hit me in the core. Tabac Blond is a smoky leather scent in the edp version. The parfum is incredible. Lasts all day and reminds you you are a woman. I have never received a compliment whilst wearing it because I guess its not the kind of scent most people go for these days. Parfum Sacre is a spicy woody scent and I just dont know how to describe the wonder of it, you're just transplanted to a different world when you wear it. Again no compliments but who cares. My wish list is Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque. Will have to order direct from the Paris boutique for this one. Do check these out if you're looking for something a little unusual and grown up. And visit your Guerlain counter you can't go wrong with Mitsouko, Apres L'Ondee, the ethereal L'Heure Blueu and others. And remember when testing you need to give it time. Top, middle and base notes may or may not suit you. I could wax lyrical about perfume but there are many sites doing a fantastic job of this already. A good place to start is the one you mentioned in your post.
Yolanda says:
November 18, 2008, 3:57 pm
Love, love, love... Neroli by L'Occitane. A bit heady, orange blossom heaven..
NaturalGloLady says:
November 18, 2008, 4:07 pm
It's not a popular fragrance. but I always get compliments when I wear Caesar's for Women. One women liked it so much, I gave the extra bottle I had. The Eau de Parfum is the best impact.
Laya says:
November 18, 2008, 4:13 pm
I may have to try these. I'm really picky about scents - nothing too spicy, nothing too green, nothing too floral, nothing too heavy. I have a hard time finding things, lol. I'm wearing Shi for Women by Alfred Sung, but I'm looking to switch up. DKNY's Be Delicious has ben a standby for a while, and I saw a special edition set of Be Delicious and Red Delicious I might pick up. I like Delicious Night too but I haven't worn it. Another standy that I may revisit: Essencia de Duende. I went into a perfume store looking for Issey Miyake, and the salesperson told me to try it. I love it, and I like that it's not that common. I always get compliments on it.
Lynette says:
November 18, 2008, 4:15 pm
Mochachoc, You are a classic perfume lover, after my own heart. I too love Parfum Sacre and Mitsouko. My other faves are Habanita and Theorema. I am hoping that someone will gift me with a bottle of Tom Ford's Black Orchid. That Serge Luten-- if you are in the US, it is my understanding that the Paris exclusives are not shipped to the US.
Kweenie says:
November 18, 2008, 5:54 pm
I've already asked for 'Daisy' by Marc Jacobs from my hubby for Xmas. I love the clean scent.
afrobella says:
November 18, 2008, 6:55 pm
Mocachoc - you need to start your own perfume blog! Your knowledge is impressive, and I tend to write more generally about scents rather than offer the analysis of Sniffapalooza or Now Smell This. Love those blogs. Some of your recommendations sound AMAZING! Need to spend some more time wandering Saks and smelling everything!
afrobella says:
November 18, 2008, 6:55 pm
my bad - mochachoc! Spelling is askew and I am still at work...
flygyrl72 says:
November 18, 2008, 7:48 pm
I never paid attention/recognized that that was Erykah in those spreads! I swear, sometimes I can be so unobservant... I just dug the ads cause it was a sista in 'em. I do want to try the White Patchouli though, I'm a big fan of Tom's, he always comes with the "sexy", so I'm curious. Another one I want to try is Fresh's new one, Strawberry Flowers, it just sounds edible... Has anyone ever tried the 888 scent by Comme de Garcon? I've always wondered what it smelled like & the gold bottle is dope... My fave scent for the past 4 yrs since I moved to LA is by a local brand,Pilar & Lucy, & it's called The Exact Friction of Stars. I use the roll-on oil version. Very yummy, warm, vanilla & spicy too... I alternate this with Musc Ravageur by Frederic Malle. His scents are off the chain. My all time fave used to be Jil by Jil Sander. But of course, they discontinued it years ago & I've pored the Web trying to find some stray bottles, but to no avail, oh well, such is life...
Lynette says:
November 18, 2008, 8:06 pm
flygirl72, You live in LA, so get to the Scent Bar. They carry a lot of CDGs. Or go to and you can order samples. I think I'm due for another sample order soon.
Tiffany says:
November 18, 2008, 8:06 pm
The Harajuku Lovers smells so nice..
flygyrl72 says:
November 18, 2008, 8:24 pm
Hey Lynette, I've read about Scent Bar, but have never gone. I'm gonna have to check it out, thanks for the tip. And yes! I love too! Good way to try samples, I agree....
lauren says:
November 18, 2008, 8:52 pm
Escada Pacific Paradise is the best perfume ever made! too bad it's discontinued, only find it online and in Soho!
Butta says:
November 18, 2008, 9:38 pm
I need more perfume like I need a hole in my head, but I've been dropping hints like bombs over Baghdad for my boyfriend to get me Narciso Rodriguez For Her this Christmas. I got a couple of samples in the spring and fell for it hard. It's a great cold weather scent. Will check out the new Carol's Daughter fragrance when I next go to Sephora. Hopefully they'll have it in stock. Has anyone else been finding poorly stocked CD shelves at their local Sephora? What's up with that?
HomeSpaGoddess says:
November 18, 2008, 9:51 pm
Have you tried Red Door Shimmer by Elizabeth Arden? It's new, I tried a sample yesterday and I love it! It's described as Sparkling, Contemporary and Glamorous. I agree:)
Sabrina97 says:
November 18, 2008, 9:53 pm
I have noticed that too Butta... I was thinking it was because I was recommending it to so many people :) I really like Usher for women. It smells sexy... Almond Cookie and Dolce and Gabanna light blue are always good standbys.
Chanelle, Indigofera Beauty Expert says:
November 18, 2008, 10:18 pm
Lisa Price is certainly the Queen of scents. I love Almond Cookie and Jamaican Punch. Last year I introduced "Brown Sugar" a new Indigofera Seasonal Scent. My clients absolutely loved it. So this year. I offer it in a Serenity Gift Set that includes Exotic Butter Creme, Spa Crystal, Soy Candle and a Body Elixir (perfume)! "Brown Sugar" is warm,decadent and sensual.
mochachoc says:
November 19, 2008, 1:24 pm
Hi Lynette, we have similar taste in perfume. I live in the UK and it is true you do have to order direct from the boutique in Paris. When I first sampled fumerie turque it was available outside of france i should have snapped up a bottle then. Maybe I'll treat myself and take the train to Paris. Tom Ford Black Orchid is beautiful.
mochachoc says:
November 19, 2008, 1:41 pm
Afrobella Thanks for the compliment but believe me when i say my knowledge is very limited. I don't think you need a vast array of knowledge. the old adage 'follow your nose' is all you need. So don't do what i did by buying a whole bottle of something because the reviewer made it sound delectable. that bottle is still on my dresser sadly neglected and i'm too lazy to get into the swap or decant thing. Including the sites you mentioned, perfumeposse, perfume of life, basenotes, aromascape, bois de jasmine,perfume shrine, perfume smellin things, the scented salamander and many more (see we really dont need another perfume addict blogging) are all sites which you will love. Beware you can get hooked.
The Connoisseur says:
November 19, 2008, 9:22 pm
I saw my perfume mentioned a few times - Tom Ford's Black Orchid. Dear lord that stuff is yummy. And right now on my must have list is YSL's Elle and I know I am a bit late, but I heart Stella by Stella McCartney. I will most definitely take a sniff of the new Carol's Daughter scent. Thanks lady!
flygyrl72 says:
November 20, 2008, 4:50 pm
Okay, now, here's one I've been hearing about, ... Wode by Boudicca. It sprays on cobalt blue, then is (supposedly) fades as it dries. I can't risk looking like Smurfette...LOL...
Liz says:
November 21, 2008, 5:22 am
Im def getting Tom Ford Black Orchid soon along with my signature scent Angel by Thierry Muglier... loveee it.
browne says:
November 27, 2008, 1:02 pm
In regards to the Harajuku girls...a part of me thinks it is super cute a part of me thinks something about that feels wrong. I don't like the silent woc as back up to the blonde chick. If this was 1980 ok, but as of yet I have yet to see an Asian-American break into the music scene and why not? I think owing to stereotypes of what Asians can and can not do. If there were some Asian-American singers out there with mainstream sucess then ok it might be ok, but I know that kind of thing has got to be breaking some really talented Asian-Ameican singers heart to think in America the only way to be Asian and be a singer is to be a back-up/accessory to a blonde lady.
Danielle says:
November 28, 2008, 7:24 pm
my three top favs: covet by sarah jessica parker, almond cookie by carols daughter and gucci envy me... must have this holiday: Pearls by CD! She rocks...hard!


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